The most important business on earth today is not sports and entertainment. It is neither eating and drinking nor marrying and giving in marriage. It is not even ‘churchianity’ the opposite of Christianity. ‘Churchianity’ is not Standard English word but is used here to illustrate a number of phenomena associated with today’s Christian church. Thus, ‘churchianity’ is likened to the church of Laodicea. (Rev 3:15-17). It is:
- Running the church of Jesus Christ like a commercial enterprise or a partnership of two or more persons wholly devoted to financial returns and profit making.
- Establishing a church as a means of alleviating the problem of unemployment.
- Using the church as avenue for popularity, wealth accumulation and self-deification.
- Haven of weird doctrines unheard of in the early church such as same-sex marriage, ordination of homosexuals and lesbians into church posts.
- Complete or partial departure from the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Eph 2:20-21).
- ‘Another gospel’ that perverts the fundamentals of the doctrine of Christ.
The most important business on planet earth especially in this end-time is the mandate of Jesus Christ. The background to the mandate of Jesus is the desire of God Almighty to expand His Kingdom by creating a visible world for His children. The visible world was designed as a nursery for God’s children in Hypostatic form. Omniscient God knew before the beginning began that Lucifer and the First Adam would fail Him. He therefore made plans to become a Man to bring the plan of God to pass on earth.
The promise of the Seed of the woman was made by God in the Garden of Eden as a gracious redemptive offer to the posterity of fallen Adam and Eve. God’s main concern in the dispensations and eras that followed was to find an acceptable line of descent for His Son to come into the world to carry out His mandate. Patriarchs and Prophets like Enoch and Moses spoke about the coming Messiah but it was Isaiah who made a clear statement on His mandate. Isaiah prophesied about His coming of the Messiah.
In Isa 61:1-3, Prophet Isaiah categorised the mandate of Jesus into eight main activities. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to …”
- Preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me;
- To bind up the brokenhearted.
- Proclaim liberty to the captives.
- Open the prison to them that are bound.
- Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
- Proclaim the day of vengeance of our God.
- Comfort all that mourn.
- Appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
When the Lord came into the world as prophesied, He set out the manifesto of the first phase of His assignment. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19). It comprised five parts:
- To preach or bring goodnews to the poor in spirit.
- To heal the broken-hearted.
- To preach deliverance (release of sinners from the guilt and bondage of sin through Christ’s earthly ministry).
- To set at liberty them that are bruised – setting captives free.
- To preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance.
He stopped at #5 because items 6-8 pertain to His second coming agenda.
Jesus’ earthly ministry is split in two: first coming as the ‘lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ and second coming as judge of the living and the dead. Between the two comings there is a hidden interlude of two days or two thousand years. It is the dispensation of grace when the church is inaugurated, built to maturity and evacuated to heaven to be with Christ.
When Jesus was of age to enter His ministry He clearly defined His first coming assignment by repeating items 1-5 above. He omitted 6-8 (Lk 4:18-19) because those three items pertained to His Second Coming. During His ministry He revealed the mystery of the Church, a period of about two thousand years when Jews and Gentiles would be called out into a new class of citizenship. At the conclusion of the first leg of His mandate, Jesus said: “All power has been given to Me.” As My Father sent Me, so send I you. “All power” to do what? The power Jesus has given to His followers is to build the Church, stand firm and wait for His return to carry out the remaining aspects of His mandate. The outlet for actualising the mandate of Christ is through the preaching of the Gospel, which has three aspects: everlasting, kingdom and grace.
The Apostles’ Creed is a good summary of the first coming assignment of the mandate of Jesus. “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
As said earlier, the mandate of Jesus is split into two ‘Comings:’ first coming, an interregnum and second coming. Historically the First Coming is past; all the prophecies appertaining thereto were fulfilled meticulously. The interval between the First and Second Comings, which was a mystery in Old Testament times is the period for calling out of Jews and Gentiles a new group of people, the Body of Christ, into the Family of God. The Second Coming is the judgment and consummation of all things.
The Mandate of Jesus is to seek, save and re-establish lost mankind on earth by giving abundant life to those who are willing to receive and keep it to the end of human dispensations. Abundant life is not only eternal life but includes those things that accompany salvation that can be enjoyed on earth.
The mandate God gave to Jesus was made up of three distinct assignments, two comings to earth spanning three dispensations with three finishing points. The Eternal Son of God was to assume a human body and go into the world to seek and save what God lost through the rebellion of Lucifer and transgression of Adam and Eve. His three assignments were firstly to preach the gospel of the kingdom, which would lead to His arrest, trial and crucifixion on a cross for the redemption of mankind, restoration of broken link between heaven and earth.
The second assignment in His Second Coming is to sit on three thrones of glory to judge creation. Thirdly in His Second Coming, to re-establish God’s literal kingdom on earth, rule it for 1,000 years with a rod of iron in order to restitute all things to conform to the decree of the Godhead before the beginnings began and render account to the Father to resume His position as all in all.
Anything outside of the Lord’s mandate no matter how ennobling is secondary and irrelevant. In His first advent, Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil.” The militant church has the duty of destroying the works of darkness in the interregnum between His First and Second Coming. It is a ministry of conflict, which dovetails spiritual warfare, deliverance and the fight of faith.